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Online Primary Voters' Pamphlet, August 6, 2013
City of Yelm - Proposition No. 1 - Community Center and Park Bonds

Introduction to Local Measure -This page contains the local measure certified to appear on the August 6, 2013, Primary Election ballot. Only voters residing in this district will be eligible to vote on this measure.

For each measure in the Local Voters’ Pamphlet, the legislative authority of the jurisdiction placing the measure on the ballot is required to formally appoint committees to prepare statements advocating the approval and rejection of the measure. If the jurisdiction is unable to make such appointments, the Thurston County Auditor advertises for such appointments.

The Auditor’s Office encourages you to thoroughly review all statements and seek additional information from the jurisdictions, the appointed citizens’ committees, and the local and regional media.

Please Note: Statements are written by the pro and con committee members, who are solely responsible for the contents therein. Statements are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for factual or grammatical accuracy by the Auditor’s Office.
  Only voters residing within the city limits of Yelm will vote on this measure.  
Ballot Title:

The City Council of the City of Yelm has passed Ordinance No. 970 concerning financing the expansion of and improvements to Yelm City Park. If approved, this proposition would authorize issuance of general obligation bonds in an amount not more than $5,742,000 (maturing within 25 years or less) to pay costs of constructing a community center and supporting facilities and carrying out other park improvements, and authorize the annual levy of excess property taxes to pay and retire such bonds, all as provided in Ordinance No. 970.

Should this proposition be approved:
Oval   Yes
Oval   No
Explanatory Statement:

City of Yelm seeks voter approval to sell $5,742,000 in bonds to finance the cost of expanding and improving Yelm City Park located downtown at the corner of First Street (SR 507) & Mosman Avenue. The proposed improvements include redesigning the park, constructing a new community center to include a commercial kitchen and new restrooms, modernizing and expanding play equipment, and a water spray park.

The bonds will be repaid from annual excess property taxes. The City anticipates a tax rate increase (over the existing rate) to repay the bonds of $0.61 per $1,000 of assessed value for 25 years, or $91.50 per year for a home valued at $150,000.

Exemptions from taxes may be available to homeowners who are 61 or older, or disabled, and who meet certain income requirements. To determine if you qualify, call the Thurston County Assessor (360) 867-2200.

Statement prepared by: Alice M. Ostdiek, Foster Pepper PLLC

Statement For:

Vote Yes to Enhance Yelm City Park
Prairie Days, Christmas in the Park, concerts, birthday parties, family reunions - chances are you have attended one or more such events at Yelm City Park. If so, you have seen the need for an updated park that will better serve our community and be a beautiful place to which we can be proud to welcome visitors.

The planned changes will bring activities to our community while enhancing our community identity, revitalizing our downtown core, and providing a safe area for families and children to enjoy the quality amenities that our residents deserve. The community center will offer an indoor gathering space available to all community members, equipped with a commercial kitchen, outdoor stage, and nearby water-spray park for summer splashing fun.

Also part of the plan is a new children’s play area and a proposal to move the skate park to a new location with a more challenging course. An improved memorial plaza will pay fitting tribute to our armed services members and the contributions they make to our community.

This exciting new plan cannot be implemented without public support. By approving the modest tax levy of about $100.00 per home each year, residents will join in a shared community investment that meets our needs today and will serve our community for years to come. Please vote Yes for the City of Yelm’s Capital Bond, and help make our public park facility a more comfortable, accommodating, and enjoyable place to be.

Statement submitted by: Jennifer Littlefield, Yelm Planning Commission Terry Kaminski, Yelm Planning Commission

Statement Against:

Yelm is a military town, comprised of over 30% today. Now is not the time for adding additional taxpayer burdens with Sequestration’s affects here by summer’s end. There is a sense of unease here. Many will have their jobs cut, trickling down to less spending.

Tough economic times for residents have been made worse by city leaders fostering growth on the backs of their taxpayers. Yelm taxes have stretched them the last four years, including annual rate increases: water, 8.25% for 5 years, sewer, 3-5.4% for 7 years, regular B & O taxes, and advalorem taxes. After Yelm said they could only afford $600,000, $1 million was spent for a library. Council then added a $1 million community center to the library bond without public input.

Everyone likes Park improvements, yet residents will pay an average of $110 per year for 25 years if passed. With the desecration of parks and graffiti damage to businesses, Yelm’s can’t protect what they have. Supporting this is akin to the straw that broke the camel’s back. For years, the city has taxed residents - rich and poor alike - and long-time businesses recently closed. This levy is on the ballot without any Town Forum, hence no consideration of the public’s interests.

In these tough economic times, we have all cut back our expenses. A message needs to be sent to our City Council to do the same. Please vote No to raising our taxes and stop this irresponsible levy in these challenging times.

Statement submitted by: Steve Klein, Public Relations Officer, Ramtha School of Enlightenment

Rebuttal of the Statement For:

Yelm currently has a taxpayer-funded community center, so why a 2nd one? With an average $110 tax increase per year for 25 years added to annual water, sewer, and tax increases, our families living on fixed monthly stipends are especially hurting, many about to feel Sequestration’s effects. Now is not the time to add to our citizens’ burdens for the luxury of a park overhaul.

Vote No on the City of Yelm Park Levy.

Rebuttal of the Statement Against:

Yelm City Council voted for two years to reduce property taxes for Yelm residents. This investment in Yelm City Park and our community will attract people to Yelm, increase clientele for local businesses, and offer better facilities for residents today and in the future.

Voting is the ultimate in public forums. And with this measure, voters will decide the course for our public parks. Please vote Yes to beautify and upgrade our City Park.

Ballots will begin arriving July 18, 2013. If you have not received your ballot by July 24, contact our office immediately.

Phone: (360) 786-5408     TTY: (360) 754-2933

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